I never wanted to date a nag. In fact, like many people, I really shut down when being scolded. By nature, I walk a fine line between uber-responsible and accomplished and mildly disastrous, which means significant others have had multiple opportunities over the years to recommend suggestions of how I can better navigate life.
So imagine my dismay when I crossed paths with Bessie. The scene was Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Newport, Oregon. I was staying there alone for a week and then driving to Denver, and I had reserved a compact car for my trip. When, I arrived, however, I was given the mini-van that I soon named “Bessie.” Not the most skillful at navigating tight spaces, I immediately tried to send Bessie back. I could tell we were not going to be good match, but as is often the case in life, I seemingly had no other options, and I had to make do with what I had or risk having nothing. So, the complex relationship between Bessie and I began.
Sure, she had some wonderful qualities. She was reliable, comfortable and came with satellite radio, but she wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. The biggest challenge though, came when I realized how “helpful” Bessie was. Car coming too close? BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! Bessie would yell at me. She was very jealous. Crossing over the line onto the shoulder because road construction has the lane blocked? BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! Bessie would scold me on my driving. Sometimes, she would seemingly nag me for no reason. As if that weren’t enough, then the helpful suggestions started.
“Do you need to take a break?” Bessie didn’t feel like I could handle the long stretches of driving between Oregon and Idaho. When I ignored her questions, she moved to begging. “Please take a break.” Bessie didn’t trust me to make my own decisions.
It was official. Bessie had become my nagging girlfriend.
The moral of this story is “Don’t be a Bessie” in your dating life. If you don’t trust someone’s decision-making abilities and need to treat them like a child, don’t date them. Think about whether your advice and suggestions are actually helpful, or are they really just questioning the other person’s freedom to be themselves and make their own decisions?
Fortunately, the relationship with Bessie only lasted two weeks, and I felt a sense of relief when I left her in Denver. In addition to soaking up the experience of what it is like to spend so many hours with a nag, I was also reminded that if intuition tells you the relationship is not a good match, follow it!
Author Ela Kaye is a marketing writer and brand consultant who specializes in using her skills to connect people. In addition to serving as Lead Consultant at Compass Date, she chronicles her ramblings on modern dating, self-discovery and finding your like-minded human(s) on the blog “True North.”